Covers Sell

Covers Sell

Anyone who has ever worked in the restaurant business knows how fiercely competitive it is, and how fickle foodies can be with their affections and loyalties.  One day you are the flavour of the month, and the next you are out of business.  Just ask Gourmet.  So it goes with food covers.  Get it right, and the customers hungrily devour you.  Wallets emerge, open and disgorge themselves willingly and with joy.  Fail to impress, and you’ve got a stinking, rotting mess.
(Note:  Edible Manhattan is not ABC Audited)

Reality Check on Bon Appetit Cover:

According to ABC statistics, the average sale for the Jul/Dec 2009 rate base period was 113,500 copies sold.  This nominated cover sold 82,000, or 28% worse than the overall average.  With so many excellent, high selling covers to choose from, leaving this stinker on the menu is perplexing.

Reality Check on Atlanta Cover:

City magazines often do exceptionally well with food covers, even though food is not their single-minded editorial focus.  According to ABC statistics, this nominated cover sold 4,950 copies compared to the average of 4,502 for the Jan/Jun 2010 rate base period.  That’s a 10% lift.  Not bad, but not exactly a breath-taking gusher.

Reality Check on Saveur Cover:

This really is an American classic.  Everything about this cover works.  White background.  Corner slash.  Great use of the real estate.  Clean and uncluttered.  Strong supporting sell lines.  According to ABC statistics this was the best-selling cover of the Jul/Dec 2009 rate base period.  It sold 48,429 copies compared to the average of 41,420, for a 17% lift.  That’s delicious indeed.

Reality Check on Texas Monthly Cover:

Is there any doubt what is on the menu with this cover?  Burgers is as prominent as the logo for the Texas Monthly restaurant.  According to ABC statistics, this cover sold 41,591 copies, compared to the average for the Jul/Dec 2009 rate base period of 34,646.  That’s a 20% lift.  Not only was it the best-selling cover of the period, it was the best selling cover since May of 2008.  Now that is indeed mouth-watering.

Reality Check on Food & Wine Cover:

According to ABC statistics, this elegant, refined and perfectly gorgeous cover sold 70,243 copies compared to the 53,911 average sold for the Jan/Jun 2010 period.  That’s a 30% lift in sales.  It was also the best-selling issue of Food & Wine since July of 2008.  The “beautiful science” is irrefutable.  This cover’s scrumptious recipe for success is totally, impossibly, irresistible.

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About Me

Scott Bullock is a veteran circulation expert with over 38 years experience in both Canada and the United States. He has worked on trade titles such as Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, School Library Journal and Small Press in the USA. In consumer magazines, Scott was the Circulation Director for D Magazine (the city magazine of Dallas, Texas), and in Canada he was the Circulation Director for Toronto Life, Fashion, and Canadian Art. From 2000 to 2004, Scott was a partner at Coast to Coast Newsstand Services. Scott has also held the post of VP Sales & Marketing, for CDS Global, Canada. Currently, CoversSell.Com is Scott’s circulation consultancy. Active clients include: Fly Fusion, Canadian Geographic, Canadian House & Home, Canada’s History, Canadian Real Estate Wealth, Canadian Woodworking, Canadian Cycling, Canadian Running, Canadian Scrapbooker, Legion, Harrowsmith, SkyNews, and SuperTrax.

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